The Hobart College soccer team rallied to beat RIT 3-1 on Cozzens Field on Sunday. All four of the game’s goals were scored in the second half. It was the Statesmen’s first intercollegiate matchup since facing Montclair State in the first round of the NCAA tournament 519 days ago.
First-year Matias Valenzuela Matic factored into all three of Hobart’s goals, finishing the game with two goals and an assist. Sophomore Robbie Caron was credited with the game-winning goal. First-year Guillermo Castaneda Chang started in goal and stopped all four shots he faced. First-year Christian Burkhart played the second half and made one save.
Jonathan Cohen scored for the Tigers. Spencer Raymond-Smith started for RIT and made two saves in 70 minutes of action. Gaurav Cheema came on in relief and played the final 10 minutes.
In typical Liberty League fashion, the opening 40 minutes was a physical back and forth affair between the two teams. RIT held an 8-5 advantage in shots in the first half but were unable to solve Castaneda Chang. The Tigers best chances came in the 24th minute. Alec Jackson had a shot from the top of the box turned aside by Castaneda Chang. Adam Wuest hopped on the rebound but his shot was also turned aside by the Hobart goalie.
RIT broke the deadlock in the 48th minute on Cohen’s penalty kick goal. Combs committed to his right and Cohen stepped up and blasted the shot into center of the cage.
The Statesmen tied the game in the 63rd minute when Valenzuela Matic converted on a penalty kick of his own. Ten minutes later, Caron scored the game-winning goal. Valenzuela Matic dribbled the ball down the right wing and slid a through ball to Caron, who fired a shot past Cheema. Valenzuela Matic added his second goal of the game in the 80th minute. He intercepted a RIT clearing attempt, took one step and buried a shot from 20 yards out into the upper left corner of cage.
The teams played an additional 20 minutes at the end of regulation to get some extra experience for the underclassmen. Neither team found the back of the net. The Tigers had the better of the play, but were unable to solve Hobart first-year goalie Cooper Robards. At the midway point of the third period, Josh Price also had a golden scoring chance for RIT. He had Robards out of position, but first-year Sam Lescher made a last second tackle to keep the ball out of the net. In the later stages of the extra frame, Robards made a highlight reel save, punching a Ludo Zanotti shot over the crossbar.
The Statesmen will be back on the pitch next Sunday, April 25, when they welcome Rochester to Cozzens Field.